Reflections inspired by the GTP news

The first GTP study has awakened some thoughts. Different interpretations and reactions have come to light. Some articles about the study are positive, other are negative and alarmist.

Some of my favourites include: “Consensus hallucinations” by Sally Adee. “Wishing games could indeed warp reality” by Jason Hill, “Fantasy and reality: Can Gamers tell?” by John Walker and “I want to see it too” by manWithNoName.

Some of these headers have encouraged me to reflect and come back in time to my old writings that I would like to share with you today.

In 2000, after finishing my thesis about the psychosocial implications of the use of Internet, to become a psychologist at the university of Monterrey (UDEM) Mexico, I wrote “Breaking the known” (“La ruptura de lo conocido”) in a Mexican newspaper referring to the changes and challenges of the use of interactive technologies. “Changes of paradigms, what before was extreme tries to become normal. The digital culture requires a swift adaptation. Uncertainties float in the air. What new anxieties and fears is the humanity experiencing? The comets highlight the sky which witnesses the transformation…”.

In 2005, at my first international conference, I re-phrased my old thoughts to the following: “We actually don’t have sufficient studies on the potential consequences of such a rapid change in the way humans interact with, and through, representational interactive media technologies (i.e. avatar manipulation), but it is necessary to formulate and reformulate models to understand how we may cross the ‘Hanging Bridge’ during this period of adaptation, considering that we can be judging the present time in an incorrect way, because we appreciate it through a substantially old logic, and what is abnormal today can become normal tomorrow. We are in a period where the intensive use of technology may be perceived as excessive, yet very well could be the normal lifestyle of tomorrow.”

Certainly, some of the players’ experiences in the GTP study appear to be extreme while other predictable. It appears that when players see, hear, feel or interpret the real world based on video games’ content, they are recreating, transforming, and aligning elements from the game into the real world “puzzle”. This invites us to reflect:  If some individuals are seduced by very “primitive” technology that result in game transfer experiences what will happen when technology become more immersive, when advanced augmented reality become part of our lives? In what ways will our brain organize, assimilate and adapt to advanced technological experiences in competition with reality? We are adaptable creatures; I just hope to live long enough to see the magnificent technological advances and to be able to contribute to society with at least a “thought” that help us to get the most benefits of the new interactive technologies. I experience, in flesh and blood, some of the “Singularity” that Kurzweil predicted. The GTP project is part of the trip that I started some time ago.

Some additional headers and different interpretation of the GTP findings include:

“Gamers live in virtual reality”

“Gamers use in-brain control pads”

“Video games intruding on reality: ‘Game Transfer Phenomena’”

“Gamers tested for Game Transfer Phenomena (GTP)”

“Gamers May Get confused and attempt virtual skills in real life”

“When Your Mario Kart Obsession Seeps into your daily commute”

“New study coins term ‘game transfer phenomena’”

“Video games induce ‘violent solutions’ to problems”

“Game transfer phenomena reported in Swedish video games study”

“‘Game transfer phenomena’ and the problem of perception”

“Unscientific survey of 42 gamers concludes video games interfere”

“Do you suffer from ‘Game transfer phenomena’”

“Virtual and real worlds collide in gamers’ mind, study finds”

“How video games blur real life boundaries and prompt thoughts of ‘violent solutions’ to players’ problems”.

“Sciences finds people can’t tell the video game world form the real world”

“New study into effects of games on Players’ Reality”

“Investigadores identifican el fenomeno de transferencia de juego”

“El efecto tetris no era solo una leyenda urbana”

“Un estudio dice que no nos podemos desconectar de los juegos”


About Angelica B. Ortiz de Gortari

Dr. Angelica B. Ortiz de Gortari is Marie Curie Postdoctoral Research fellow in Cyberpsychology. Critical inquiry on the psychosocial implications of interactive media technologies has been her professional passion since undergraduate school, when she conducted one of the first studies on internet addiction. Game Transfer Phenomena (GTP) is her area of research expertise, for which she has won awards. Dr. Ortiz de Gortari’s research has been featured in different media worldwide including Discovery News, History Channel News, BBC World Service, the New Scientist and the International Herald Tribune. Her research on GTP has even inspired an episode of the TV series CSI: Cyber. She has published academically and presented at several international conferences. The goal of her research is maximizing the psychological and social benefits of interactive virtual technologies while reducing the potential risks it can present to some individuals.

Posted on September 26, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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